A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Plant of the Week: Strongylodon macrobotrys (Jade Vine)

Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter. 

Turquoise is not a common color in the plant world but that is exactly the hue of the extraordinary blooms of the jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys). Native to the Philippines, it is a vigorous tropical vine and can grow up to 50 feet long.

the-plant

In Wave Hill’s Marco Polo Stufano Conservatory, it extends under the roof for much of the length of the Tropical House―the left-hand arm of the building―and its spectacular, two- to three-foot racemes (elongated flower-clusters) hang down conveniently at head height—allowing for a very close view.

the-setting

close-upIt is a member of the pea and bean family (Fabaceae) and, in the wild forests of its homeland, it is pollinated by nectar-drinking bats.

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